Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel

Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel

Posted by jack_miller | Published 7 months ago

With 198 ratings

By: Richard H. Minear , Dr. Seuss, et al.

Purchased At: $21.95

“A fascinating collection” of wartime cartoons from the beloved children’s author and illustrator (The New York Times Book Review).
For decades, readers throughout the world have enjoyed the marvelous stories and illustrations of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. But few know the work Geisel did as a political cartoonist during World War II, for the New York daily newspaper PM. In these extraordinarily trenchant cartoons, Geisel presents “a provocative history of wartime politics” (Entertainment Weekly). Dr. Seuss Goes to War features handsome, large-format reproductions of more than two hundred of Geisel’s cartoons, alongside “insightful” commentary by the historian Richard H. Minear that places them in the context of the national climate they reflect (Booklist).
Pulitzer Prize–winner Art Spiegelman’s introduction places Seuss firmly in the pantheon of the leading political cartoonists of our time.
“A shocker―this cat is not in the hat!” ―Studs Terkel
This is an interesting historical account of the fight by one publication, led largely by the efforts of the man who would become famous to us as Dr. Suess, to go up against hatred and discrimination of Jewish people and African-Americans. I especially was interested in the narrator’s commentary regarding “Isolationism” and the publication’s (as well as Dr. Suess’s) omission to attack hatred and fear of Japanese-Americans, but that’s a detail best learned by reading this thoughtful, inspiring history.

BLUSH FACTOR: No worries here.

EDITING FOR GRAMMAR AND TYPOS: This is professionally edited.


Instead of an excerpt, I’m attaching two screen shots of illustrations that, in my view, show the early versions of characters used by Dr. Suess in his books for children. By the way, I learned only from this book’s explanation that Suess, when correctly pronounced, actually rhymes with royce. Just one minor bit of knowledge that will form an ever-so-slight crease in my brain!

THE WRITING FLOW & STYLE: The narrative, before and after the 45 illustrations, is interesting and written in a manner that, for nonfiction, is more inviting than I had expected. Mind you, I would have preferred to place the illustrations throughout the text, rather than in, basically, smack dab in the middle section. Yet, I am delighted with what I did learn, especially what I learned about the fight against Lindbergh and his isolationist stance against America’s opposition to Hitler.


Five stars out of five.

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- chana_chavez

Seuss' editorial cartoons are as amusing as his children's books and are definitely worth having a look.

But the layout of the Kindle version is just horrible. It has the descriptions for all the cartoons in one large block, THEN the images so you have to flip back and forth for it to make any sense.

It'd give this book 5 stars if it were laid out with any sort of logical format, but as is it doesn't even deserve one star.

- zechariah_baker

Like most people, I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books and I read them to my kids. It's odd to see the familiar drawings dealing with such grim material, but it gave me a better idea how he became such a wise author and why so many of his stores have that evil-gets-you-no-where theme. All wars are terrible, but WWII will always stand out as one of the most tragic and evil chapters in human history and this author saw it all and understood it. This book gave me a greater understanding of how badly Dr. Seuss wanted to teach very young children how to get along, be fair, overlook differences and just learn to live and accept other so that there will be no more wars, no more discrimination. The social messages of The Sneeches, Yertle the Turtle, The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who, etc. now mean so much more to me. I am looking forward to being a grandmother so that I can read these stores again...And this time give deeper and very different answers to what it all means.

- london_jackson

The book is a collection of cartoons by Theodore "Dr. Seuss" Geisel in the period up to and just following the US entry in to WWII in December of 1941. Full page versions of the cartoons are accompanied by a detailed commentary by Richard Minear, retired professor of history at UMass Amherst. It's an intriguing collection, demonstrating many of the styles and characters that Seuss developed in his children's books (he had already published several, like "To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street," "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins," "Horton Hatches the Egg," and "The Seven Lady Godivas"), and a more pointed and political kind of commentary that informed his later work but was much less vocal. Well worth a look for (adult) fans of Dr. Seuss who also have an interest in history and the WWII era.

- arely_torres

I teach middle school history and my students love this book. It has tons of pictures from Dr. Seuss when he was a political cartoonist during WWII. You can see how he used many of the same types of characters and locations in his later children books right here in this book where he uses satire to fight against Hitler and the war. It's an extremely fun book to flip through and to get a better understanding of one of the best children's authors of all time.

- kenneth_moore

I enjoyed reading this e-book on my 10 inch Kindle Fire Tablet; I was not impressed with the pictures on my Kindle Oasis. Before I read this e-book, I would not have expected Dr. Seuss to write propaganda. Looking at the pictures, one can see the beginnings of the style he will use in his later books. The e-book tells the complete story of how he became involved in this topic. I think the writing is very well done, and I like the example pictures given.

- alani_baker

"Dr. Seuss Goes to War" is a well-written analysis (with plenty of illustrations) of Theodore Geisel's many illustrations, propaganda posters, etc. during World War II. Author Richard H. Minear takes some time to help give you a sense of the times too, America's isolationist policies, the escalating tensions in Europe, etc.

There are tons of full-age prints of Seuss' art with annotations, and at the end Minear offers some really insightful concluding thoughts (that I won't spoil for you!)

I really enjoyed reading and looking at the artwork in this collection.

- tommy_rodriguez

Very funny insight into the politics and humour of a time that we mostly learn about from museums. This gives something missing in the museum by showing you something of what the average people were reading.

- zyaire_ward

Great book giving the reader another dimension to the works of Dr. Seuss!

- ashlyn_peterson

This is more for adult fans of Dr Seuss, especially those who are interested in his career before writing the famous children's books.

- zion_foster

First of, this rating is for the author's commentary not the actual cartoons which are great.

Most of the author commentary is just describing the cartoon without anything to add. Sometimes there's some added context but it falls short. There's quite a few time where the author questions the motives or ideas of Dr. Seuss but doesn't answer them and doesn't even quote some article or interview with Dr. Seuss making it a waste of my time.

There are quite a few cartoons that weren't included which the author describe (only commentary part I found palatable). But either I missed it or skipped it but I don't why they weren't included which kinda defeat the purpose of this book a little.

Basically at some point I decided to skip directly to the cartoons and I enjoyed myself a lot more. The small chapter about Dr. Seuss at the end is also interesting.

- elena_gutierrez

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